Nutritious facts about maple foods
When you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, don’t forget to consider using maple syrup, which contains fewer calories and a higher concentration of minerals than honey.
Maple syrup is one of the many wonders of the world. This viscous amber liquid with its characteristic earthy sweet taste is made from the sap of the sugar, black or red maple tree. The process of creating maple syrup begins with tapping (piercing) the tree, which allows the sap to run out freely. The sap is clear and almost tasteless and very low in sugar content when it is first tapped. It is then boiled to evaporate the water producing syrup with the characteristic flavor and color of maple syrup and sugar content of 60%.
Maple syrup is sweet – and we’re not just talking flavor. Maple syrup, an excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc, can also be sweet for your health.
The trace mineral manganese is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. For example, the key oxidative enzyme superoxide dismutase, which disarms free radicals produced within the mitochondria (the energy production factories within our cells), requires manganese. One ounce of maple syrup supplies 22 percent of the daily value for this very important trace mineral.
Maple syrup is a good sweetener to use if you are trying to protect the health of your heart. The zinc supplied by maple syrup, in addition to acting as an antioxidant, has other functions that can decrease the progression of atherosclerosis. Zinc is needed for the proper function of endothelial cells and helps to prevent the endothelial damage caused by oxidized LDL cholesterol and other oxidized fats. (The endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels.) Endothelial membranes low in zinc are much more prone to injury. Additionally, studies have found that in adults deficient in manganese, the other trace mineral amply supplied in maple syrup, the level of HDL (the “good” cholesterol) is decreased.
Zinc and manganese are important allies in the immune system. Many types of immune cells appear to depend upon zinc for optimal function. Particularly in children, researchers have studied the effects of zinc deficiency (and zinc supplementation) on their immune response and their number of white blood cells, including specific studies on T lymphocytes, macrophages, and B cells (all types of white blood cells important for immune defenses). In these studies, zinc deficiency has been shown to compromise numbers of white blood cell and immune response, while zinc supplementation has been shown to restore conditions to normal. In addition to the role played by zinc, the manganese in maple syrup is important since, as a component of the antioxidant SOD, it helps lessen inflammation, thus supporting healing. In addition, manganese may also act as an immunostimulant.
Maple syrup may help to support reproductive health and provides special benefits for men. Zinc is concentrated more highly in the prostate than in any other human tissue, and low levels of zinc in this gland relate to a higher risk for prostate cancer. In fact, zinc is a mineral used therapeutically by healthcare practitioners to help reduce prostate size. Manganese may also play a role in supporting men’s health since, as a catalyst in the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol, it also participates in the production of sex hormones, thus helping to maintain reproductive health.
Pure Maple Syrup is not a commonly allergenic food and is not known to contain measurable amounts of goitrogens, oxalates, or purines. Some of our other products may contain ingredients other than Maple Syrup. Please read the label before consuming.